Sunday 8 February 2015

Game 69 - Orcs & Goblins - 2013/05/05

Battle 5 - Battle for the Pass - Orcs & Goblins

In the game 5 I faced Garry and his greenskins. I had a pleasure to play against Garry at Wintercon some time ago, when he used his Ogres. Garry is a very good and calculating player so I knew I am up to a serious challenge. We even tried to set up a date for a friendly game before the tournament but due to my crazy schedule I was unable to find enough free time to do so. Fortunately, we were granted an opportunity during the tournament!

The scenario had a following modification:
3 Objective coins are placed on the horizontal centreline (24" from the board edge) they are place 18" away from one another. Before scouts and vanguard The Objectives coins scatter D6" (they stop 1" away from impassable terrain.) Each objective is worth 200pts if held at the end of the game. The closest unit within 3" holds the objective. If the distance is equal the unit with the most ranks, if they are equal the objective is contested.

As I have mentioned Garry brought his Orcs & Goblins this time. Here is his list as far as I remember it:

Orcs & Goblins - Army List

Savage (?) Orc Great Shaman - Big Waaagh!
Black Orc BSB
Night (?) Goblin Shaman - Little Waaagh!
Night (?) Goblin Shaman - Little Waaagh!

60 Goblins, Netters, Full Command
20 Night Goblins, Fanatic
20 Night Goblins, Fanatic
20 Night Goblins, Fanatic
5 Wolf Riders, Shields
5 Wolf Riders, Shields
Goblin Chariot

10 (?) Black Orcs
9 Trolls
8 Trolls
Spear Chukka
Spear Chukka
Rock Lobba
Rock Lobba

Doom Diver
Doom Diver
Mangler Squig
Mangler Squig

Right, an army that has it all! :) Enough of deep blocks to make it impossible to move around. Some hard hitters for counter attacking and enough artillery to kill my troops from afar, not worrying about range at all.

I was not sure how to handle this. Also, scenario rules favored greenskins with multiple deep rank units. Narrow passage meant I had to deploy in 2 lines. Also because I wanted to deploy some units wide to minimize the casualties due to artillery shots. Mangler Squigs and Fanatics further limited my options and the ability for a rapid approach. I had to get rid of them first in order to be able to charge comfortably and even then it would have to be frontal attack. In the case of Trolls it looked like a suicide. Tough choices indeed.


Valley filled with goblin filth :)
Deployment of the armies after vanguard moves

As expected no free route was open, war machines were spread nicely and very far away. One flank was guarded by night goblins who were waiting to release their fanatics. On the other flank horde of goblins and two huge packs of trolls also ensured nothing would go through. Manglers in the middle had a good position to hide and pop out if something got too close.

Respective wizards had following spells:

Orc Great Shaman - Gaze of Mork, Brain Bursta, Fists of Gork, Foot of Gork
Goblin Shaman - Itchy Nuisance
Goblin Shaman - Gork'll Fix It

Archmage - Enchanted Blades, Glittering Robe, Transmutation of Lead, Final Transmutation

Orcs and Goblins won the roll off and begun to move towards elven lines.

Orcs & Goblins - Turn 1

Green Tide

Greenskin artillery at its best

Orc Shaman bellowed his orders and fearful goblins as well as stupid trolls followed. Entire valley was filled with them and they moved towards thin elven line. Then the artillery spoke. Crude spear-like bolts, huge rocks and crazy doom divers filled the air. Against such a barrage even the finest armor is useless and whole regiment of proud elven knights was no more.

Outcasts  - Turn 1
High Elves maintain their formation
Cavalry moves to the flank

Two elven cavalry squadrons spot a narrow gap in the enemy formation and move int to exploit it. The rest of the army maintains the formation. Only the lions move forward and wait in cover for trolls to emerge from behind the hill. One of the eagles swoops down on the mangler and destroys it at a cost of its noble life.

Orcs & Goblins - Turn 2

Greenskins secure their positions
More artillery bombardment

Horde of goblins become unruly and initially try to reach the reavers but they change their minds in the middle of their attack. Artillery barrage continues to kill elves but it is the Orc Shaman who claims majority of elven lives with his crude but effective magic. Only a single lion emerges standing after a huge green foot stomps his comrades to death.

Outcasts  - Turn 2

Apologies for a blurry picture
Reavers maneuver in between whirling fanatics

On one flank reavers use their skills to bait fanatics from all 3 units and still emerge unscathed. On the other flank another regiment of light horsemen moves by the goblins towards the enemy artillery. Second eagle destroys another mangler squig.

Orcs & Goblins - Turn 3

Greenskins dominate the center
Elven line falters

Night goblins charge Ellyrian reavers and one unit manages to catch the elves unaware. Single fanatic, which somehow survived the arrows of the elven archers, happily whirled towards the Swordmasters.

Greenskin artillery again took many elven lives. Lone Lion was not allowed to escape with the regimental banner and fell down close to friendly lines. Nearby archers, fearing for the safety of the BSB decided to withdraw.

On the other flank another heavy cavalry was decimated and sea guard unit was forced to withdraw as well. Finally reavers were attacked and their horses panicked. It was only a small consolation that one of the lobbers exploded. 

Outcasts  - Turn 3

Last gamble
It was clear the battle was lost so to prevent further casualties the Archmage gave the order to withdraw. Some units still move forward to form rear guard. In the last gamble, the Archmage cast the most powerful spell he had at his disposal and turned half of the enemy shaman bodyguards into gold but sadly, none of the enemy characters was affected.



After-battle thoughts

Yet again we run out of time in the middle of the game. At this stage Garry controlled 2 objectives and with VP's for destroyed units it gave him solid, 14-6 victory. He played very well, used his strengths very good and minimized the weak points so that I could not exploit them.

Personally, I was disappointed with my own performance. Despite the fact that O&G are very tough enemy to beat for me and I kind of hate the army :) it was not an excuse for a bad playing.

First of all, as often, the deployment was lacking. With a narrow passage I could not hope to out maneuver the enemy so I should have opted for a more flexible approach. Double line is not bad in general but I constrained myself and limited shooting options by deploying centrally. I think I would have done better if I deployed the shooters at one flank and combat troops on another. Then I would focus on shooting goblins. Even the big horde unit would eventually suffer enough (I also failed to cast transmutation on them, which could be helpful). If it happened that the shooters would face 2 small units then it might have been even better as they would be forced to take panic checks earlier. If they were out of generals and bsbs influence, as they were in the game, it could be even more promising.

In terms of combats I think I was too passive. I didn't fight at all! As the opposing army had better shooting I could not really stand there and wait. I was concerned with fanatics and manglers but I could have performed that move with reavers in turn 1! I was of course lucky to avoid all 3 fanatics but still. If I even sacrificed a unit or two to get rid of them I would have had a nice option to attack later on. Goblins alone are not a match for my units and I would at least drove them away from the objective.

If it happened that I had big unit to fight against it is also good as I could attack with more units at the same time.

I also wanted to come back to the game length issue. I was wondering how long each turn took and I have noticed I still have a record of time when the pictures were taken. It seems that the majority of time is still used for deployment. Discussing army lists and terrain also adds to that. Hence my conclusion, that apart from trying to play faster anyway, I should focus on deployment the most. And reading these books for other armies again might be a good idea!

Last but not least I wanted to thank Garry for a challenging game and giving me a few lessons about how efficient O&G can be! Also, congratulations on the Best General award too!  

Thanks for reading!


  1. Wow, this is a tough one. It's certainly an uphill battle from the start. You really only have one advantage: movement. Not even maneuverability due to narrow deployment but in distance with reavers, DPs and eagle.

    The only way that I can see to win is to break through one side and collect warmachines in the backfield while he gets in his own way and has to decide which way to orient his forces. I'd say try to break through the side with the night goblins while abandoning the side with the trolls. Focus fire on the goblin chariot to cause some panic tests away from the BSB. That could open some space for you to work. If that didn't work, soften a NG unit and try to break them on the charge or use Eagles to protect the flank. A tall order no matter how you go about it.

    It is still risky since manglers and fanatics will be in the mix, but getting into the backfield with your speed and going after his magic users is how I would go about it. Still not a sure thing and I am not surprised that your opponent won best general. That is a great army list that he had. It seemed capable of doing everything well.
    A transmutation could have worked wonders but can't rely on getting it off. Curious on if you've had any new thoughts about how you'd attack this differently? That list (heavy magic and many warmachines with a lot of protection) with that senario (narrow deployment) is one of the most difficult match ups I can think of.

    Also, found your battle log on so I'll be checking in/commenting there as well. Hope to have some army pictures to show you by tomorrow or the next day.

    As always, thanks for the report, Swordmaster!

    1. Hi Dan,

      That was difficult match up but such games test the generalship to the fullest as the true skill is revealed while facing an adversity :) I didn't play well in that game and was not happy with my lack of decisiveness. That was used by my opponent.

      Your idea about breaking through one flank and thus getting access to the war machines is a very good one. I didn't use my assets to do so. It is one of the games that show clearly that my army loses when it is static. As you say I should have attacked the weak flank and move forward even if that meant taking casualties from fanatics. I could have still attack goblins with one wave of units and follow up with a second one, just didn't use the advantage I had. What is interesting I could use my shooters as combat units on that flank as both archers and sea guard would be great at killing goblins.

      Orcs and Goblins remain a challenge for me but it does not mean I should not try to fight them properly. What that would mean in this case? Well, I could not use the typical advantage of out deploying the enemy so I had to go for that symmetric one as usual. However, I think I would try to get shooters in the front rank so that I could respond with arrows immediately and be in the position to move forward as well. I think I would also risk two rank formations despite template weapons and try to move with more units at the same time. I knew my heavy cavalry would be a prime target for doom divers so they would be there too, if somebody survived I would use them to draw the fanatics out.

      As soon as I would see his formation I would send the units to his weaker flank and approach with other regiments to threaten his flanks or rear if he decided to move trolls to help. This game would have been more bloody but at least that would have been a fighting chance. I would probably keep reavers as a rearguard though as if I could use their mobility to exploit any gaps then I would have had fast elements to move after the artillery.

      Hard to tell if that would have worked so I guess I should organize a game to test these ideas :)

      Ah, somehow I thought you already know about the other forums I post my reports on. As you see I am way behind with my personal blog but I started it just a couple months ago. However, your comments motivate me to try harder and keep updating it more often so that I can finally catch up!

      I am looking forward to seeing the photos of course! :)


  2. I'm glad to know that I am able to motivate you since you have been a huge motivation for me! I spend most of my free time painting so that I can get my army on the board (I don't play with unpainted minis as a personal rule to ensure that I finish what I start). Here is a link to my PLOG on that I hope to update frequently

    1. Of course you do! I enjoy writing these reports but discussion the games adds totally different dimension to it all.

      I have seen the pictures on your PLOG and they are amazing! I commented there but I am really inspired by your paint work and I hope I will be able to add some nice pictures to this blog eventually too. It is not only about battles. Beautifully painted miniatures on some cool table - that is what we all should aspire to have every time we play!

      Thanks a lot, Dan and keep up the great work!